Experts warn that marketisation of forensic science service will leave crimes unsolved

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 24 March 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1935
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

Serious crimes could go unsolved and their perpetrators escape justice if a fully private market in forensic science services is allowed to happen, a parliamentary inquiry heard.

The House of Commons science and technology committee is examining ministers’ plans, announced last December, to close the government owned Forensic Science Service (FSS) by 2012.

The service’s operations would be transferred to other forensics suppliers or sold off. Two leading executives from the service and a senior trade union official warned a hearing on 23 March that the move could backfire, harming the quality of scientific advice, analysis, and “world-renowned” research available to the courts.

They told MPs that the FSS had a range and depth of expertise that might not be replicated elsewhere.

Bill Griffiths, chairman of the service, said closure of the FSS could see the break up of its nationally important data archives, which were vital to achieving …

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